The South West migrant population increased by 62% in a decade, comprehensive new research has shown, above the national average of 51%.
Around 8% of the region's 5,288,935 residents say they are foreign-born, a figure which rose by 155,261 between 2001 and 2011, the study says.
However, the overall number – mostly Poles, Germans, Indians, Irish and Americans – remains low by comparison to the rest of England and Wales, and ranks eighth out of the ten regions.
Fast-growing Exeter with its internationally-renowned university saw the highest jump, with 94% more migrants during the decade, rising from 6,716 to 13,014.
At 11% the city has proportionally the highest number.
Plymouth's migrant group grew from 10,416 to 18,207, an increase of 75%, but this is just 7% of the population
Cornwall saw its total climb from 17,182 to 23,608, up 37%, but proportionally the share of the population is just 4%.
Exeter's Labour MP Ben Bradshaw said: "This reflects the huge success of the region's universities, like Exeter, which have expanded rapidly and now attract a growing number of students from overseas, boosting their income and our regional economy."